View Full Version : Battlefront I: Legacy of the Warriors (rated PG-13)

May 8th, 2005, 1:11 PM
Well, here's the first chapter. *eyes you* If you read this, please review.

Battlefront I: Legacy of the Warriors
Chapter 0
Dear Sirs of the National Historical Society of Kanto,
I have noticed that in the history books of our schools, you have erred grievously in a great many facts about the time period called Wars of the Warriors, better known as the Birth of the Contemporary World. Having fought in said wars, Ive noticed that your accounts seem to have been written at the direction of the Admirals own advisors, traitorous as they were. When I read the book, War of Nations: The Account of the Great Wars, by Hyper Dermic, I was hurt to see that you had not only allowed such a badly misinformed account to be published, you had also given praise to this pack of lies. I was grieved to see that such a reputably well informed, generally truthful society such as yourselves had been deceived into believing such an obviously untruthful book.
After reading said book, among others, I took it upon myself to write this letter of complaint and offering. I have attached my personal biography of said timeframe. It is in story form because it was originally written for the daughter of a friend of mine. I would take it kindly if you were to offer this story as an extra in our schools or, if not possible, to take the essential facts and write them into the history books.
Let me begin with a general outline of the years prior to my story. As you already know, a century and a half ago, all the Pokenations were plagued with various idealistic teams and organizations that went around disturbing the peace trying to instate their views on the rest of the known world. You also know that various trainers gradually wiped them out. Since then, our countries had been stable and secure. But, twenty-five years ago, Admiral Kimball Vortek came into power in Tsidas, the region north of Hoenn. By various means, he bent the rest of the country to his will and began building his military strength. After legitimately taking over Hoenn by secret ballot, he then began demanding that the other regions, especially Acitcratna, with her vast mineral and oil deposits, and Erafraw, with her vast arsenal of high-tech weaponry, surrender their freedom to him in exchange for his protection against the rest of the world. Failing in that, he then declared, in the fifth month of the nineteenth year of his glorious reign, that unless they surrendered within three weeks, hed resort to violence to try to make them see reason. My story begins late in the second week.
Sincerely yours,
Captain D. Dorfman
Hard-line Brigade of Free Fighters
En route to Acitcratna

Chapter 1: Spitfire
Friday, May 23, 2952
I woke up smiling, as if the rays of the morning sun that sneaked through the imperfectly closed shades had somehow injected their laughter into my soul. Today is de day! I thought happily. Two years of training and a long, boring wait, and it all be worth it. I sighed softly into the air of my dorm, my smile deteriorating. It was my twentieth birthday. Two years ago, I had bid my family adieu and hopped a bus for parts unknown; to them, anyway. I knew where I was going, because it had been my dream to leave the American small town I had grown up in and train Pokemon. Unfortunately, the first thing I found out when I reached New York was that before anyone could leave for the Pokenations, they had to have had two years of instruction in how to train Pokemon. Unable to do anything else, I enrolled in The New York School of Pokemon Training.

Two miserable, test-filled years followed, in which my brain was wracked with worthless questions like how many eggs does a Dodrio normally lay in a year? or What kind of Pokemon will breed with seven different females before it dies? or my personal favorite, What Pokemon will eat anything?
Fortunately, the long, miserable term was over. I had passed with flying colors, mostly due to the fact that I aced three classes so badly as to set a new record for excellence. History was my favorite, followed by geography and battling. Id always had a good head for strategy, giving my opponents horrible headaches when we had to battle with random Pokemon to see how well wed do with different Pokemon; and I loved reading historical books, mostly because each one normally contained accounts of fighting and war. Geography was the only one I didnt really enjoy, but I wanted to know where Id be going when I got there, so I scraped everything out of the books that I could. Id flunked Pokemon Choreographing and Miscellaneous but Useful Knowledge, and did average in everything else.

I shook my head and rolled out of my cot. Strolling across the twelve-by-twelve apartment, I threw open the dusty brown shades. I stared into the bright blue sky above the thirty-and-forty story buildings rising up into the sky like thin mountains; mentally wondering how long I could stall before the day began. I shook my head and turned. Stepping into the tiny bathroom immediately behind me, I stared at myself in the mirror. My short, black hair and eyebrows combined with my normally tanned skin to give me a roguish look, though if you looked past them to the brown eyes, youd see a laugh waiting to happen. I chuckled as I noticed my teddy bear pajamas. Id originally had to take them as a parting gift from my grandma, but after a few years of wearing them, Id decided they were worth it. For one thing, they gave me a way to start fights with big, man-wannabes whenever I wanted. Id taken fighting lessons from a traveling Machop that Id done a favor for, so I wasnt too bad when it came to brawling. Whenever I felt the need to pummel, I just leaked word that I had those PJs, and every bullyboy around came looking to show themselves as superior to the girly-boy.

I stripped off my pajamas and stepped into the shower, still musing. Plan A: Wait as long as possible before going for starter. Try to leave at nightfall, so the Blood Reapers dont know. The gangsters had a running feud going with me, and every time we fought, theyd generally come off second best. I wouldnt have put it past them to try to take me down before I left the mainland. As the water poured down on my head, I continued planning. There was that friend of a friend of a friend to see about equipment, and that boat to catch. Still musing on how far one can get if he has money, I toweled off and dressed. I normally wore black jeans and a dark blue, hooded sweatshirt over a plain black T-shirt. It helped on my nighttime prowls to be inconspicuous. I wouldve preferred something red and green, but that wouldve made me even more of a target. I slung my belt around my waist, making sure that the holstered knife was on my left hip. With a blade nine inches long and two wide, that baby was seriously wicked. I unhooked the strap that secured it, remembering the last time Id walked out of my room with it still connected. I then attached my dark blue Pokegear to my wrist. The school had given everybody one for our one-year anniversary at the school. The small, watch-like item was, in fact, a watch. But you could upgrade it with different cards to add a communications device, map, radio, and more. Most of the other students had immediately bought the comm and radio upgrades, but I just left it the way it was. Settling my red-white-and blue cap on my head, I packed my meager luggage into a large, camo-colored army surplus backpack. Swinging it over my shoulders, I looked at my reflection in the window.

Well, Im off. Hope you dont miss me, but I know you will. Dont worry, I wont miss you.

Chuckling to myself, I executed a one-eighty. Man, Ive gotta be cracked. Talking to my window, whats next? Oh, wait, I know. Ill be talking to my reflection in the toilet. Shaking my head, I threw a last glance around the room-and-a-half that had been my home for two years. Sighing to myself, I strode to the dilapidated door and opened it carefully. Edging my head around the left corner, I swept my gaze down the long hallway. Nobody that way, lets check- Holy!

I sprang back reflexively, my right hand whipping my knife out of its holster.
The hallway was set up in a long, narrow shape, with stairways at either end. My apartment was near the northern end, only one door separating it from the stairs. Having checked the longer end of the hall first, Id swung my eyes back toward the door the separated the hall from the stairs. Imagine my shock to see a hulking, light brown face mere inches from mine!
My knife in hand, I looked up. And up, and up. Chuckling, I replaced my knife.

You know, Med, youre gonna get yourself hurt one of these days.
Medwin Thuldon, six-foot-nine and two hundred eighty pounds, not a bit of it fat, folded his massive arms. A navy-blue sweatband with a red knife inscribed on it held his black, shaggy hair away from his brown eyes. He wore a dark gray T-shirt with the same downwards-pointing knife insignia as his sweatband, and his typical jeans, colored the same as his sweatband. He grinned at me, his gravel-brown skin and perfect white teeth contrasting nicely.

And youre gonna make somebody suspicious, checking the hall as if youre gonna do somebody harm. His deep, gentle voice was amused.

I shook my head. Are you ready to go, or do I have to pack you, too?

He chuckled, and gestured to his large pack lying on the floor behind him.

Ready for two hours, pal. Do you realize that its nine-o-clock?

I shrugged, embarrassed. You didnt hafta wait, you know. I can get my starter alone.

He frowned. For two years weve been friends, Dool. Remember the first day? You walked up, shook my hand, and said

I remember, howdy, the names Dooley Dorfman, whats yours? And you said

Medwin Thuldon, toughest guy anywhere. I sure learned a thing or two that day. But what Im trying to say is, Im not gonna leave just cause youre oversleeping.

I nodded. Well, lets get this show on the road, then, and stop this memory lane stuff. Im to young to start doing that now.

He nodded and, stooping, he hefted his pack onto his back. He turned and shoved the door open. I followed him through the door, down the stairs, and through another door that led out to an alley running along the side of the school dorm. Turning, we strode down the alley toward the street, keeping our senses on the alert. Just because it was day didnt mean that one of the innumerable gangs in the area wouldnt take a shot at us if they could. We were enemies of at least two gangs, and wed stepped on the toes of at least three others since we first settled here.

Reaching the street, we turned to the left, me leading him by about five feet. It was the busiest time of the day, apparently, because everything was moving, from the trees in the wind to the cars on the road. Even the skyscrapers, soaring into the sky, were moving slightly in the high winds way up there. The sun beamed down on us as if sorry for the three previous days. Keeping my eyes on the move, I mentally called up the map that Teach had shown us. Left on Merwin, right on Second, right on Derby, here we are!

Me and Med had the second and third fastest walk on the campus, some intense girl a year behind us taking the prize for first. She always rushed around as if she had something to do and she was an hour late. A lot of the others called her Buzzy, cause she always had something to be done and no time to get there.

Anyway, with our legs beating their tattoo on the sidewalk, we did a block a minute. And these were New York blocks, at least three hundred feet from edge to edge. With a river of people going mostly against us, it seemed. Anyway, we finally turned into the massive building that housed the New York Pokemon Registration office. Shoving open the door, we strode inside, showing our student IDs with an identical flourish to the desk lady, who sat back in her seat and unnecessarily pointed down the hall behind her. Without breaking stride, we waltzed into the large, shelf-filled room that housed the nine starters that we were allowed to choose from. Med and me had decided to come in late and take the ones that nobody else wanted. But when we saw the scene in front of us, I decided that we could pick almost any of them that we wanted if we played it right.

Backed into a corner were the nine starters, with fear or determination in their eyes. They were fighting against the other seven graduating students, who were trying to break through and grab them. Wondering where Teach and the professor had gotten to, I spotted Miss Grinner, her gray hair and blue eyes whipping around in circles, in among the students, trying to hold them back and failing. Looking closer, I could see the red hair of Professor Basswood bobbing among the students as she tried to calm the Pokemon down. I rolled my eyes at Medwin. He looked back, his dark eyes laughing.

You want to do it, or do I have to?

He chuckled. You do it. Youve got the commanding presence around here.

I gave him a longsuffering look. Yeah, but you wouldnt get squashed by the press.

He grinned. Well, I suppose I could back you up

Why didnt you say so? I turned my cap around so that the bill faced backwards. Im going in. If Im not back by lunch, send in a pizza.
He grinned. You didnt have any breakfast, did you?

It slipped my mind. Alright, here goes. I stalked toward the students, who were each claiming a starter quite volubly. I tapped one on the shoulder.

Hey, Greeny, pay up.

The short, muscular kid with long, green hair spun around. I get Charmander, you hear? Its mine!

Rolling my eyes, I slugged him between his. He dropped like a rock. Waving Med in, I grabbed another kid by the shoulder and spun her into my second slug. She took it on the chin and dropped. Med grabbed two others and clocked their heads together. Grabbing the biggest kid there, he picked him up and decked him. I simultaneously tapped the last two on the shoulders. When they turned, I slapped them both, then whipped both my fists into their chins in a classic uppercut. They hit the floor. Ignoring the two women, both of whom were claiming that theyd had everything under control and that there was no need for violence, I turned to the Pokemon, who were staring at me and Med as if unsure whether or not we were gonna attack them, too. Dropping to one knee, I smiled gently at them, trying to reassure them.

Dont worry, its safe. I looked at the students lying on the floor, the first kid that Id hit just starting to move. It was their naptime.

One of them, a small, red-scaled lizard with an orange belly and a tail that ended in a live flame stepped forward. One of the courses that everybody had to take was Pokespeech, so when the little guy opened his mouth, I understood him.

<Are they dead? >

I shook my head. No, just temporarily unconscious. I just want you guys to know that me and my friend here, I jerked my thumb at Med. Are in control now, so well see order.

The professor, normally quite sensible, had had her pride pricked. She stood up to her full five-foot-three height. Her green eyes flashed, obviously ticked off.

Young man, you most certainly are not in charge here. I am, and yo

Have just restored order, no thanks to you. I finished, not turning my head. I want you to listen carefully, maam. One, when we got here, there was no order. Since order was your goal, obviously you werent in control. Two, we restored order to protect these Pokemon, otherwise we wouldve sat this out and laughed from the sidelines. Three, I

I stopped my pointless stalling tirade at a groan from one of the students.
Turning around, I stood up. Greeny was sitting up, with Med standing over him like a wrathful angel. I kept my stare emotionless, to keep his attention when he looked up.

You hit your head trying to grab the Charmander, punk, and unless you get in line, youre gonna hit your head again.

He glared at me, then laughed and rubbed his nose. Yeah, I suppose I did. Alright, he said, getting to his feet. Wheres the start of the line?

Figuring that the wound to her pride needed fixing, I pointed to Professor Basswood. Shell tell you. Im restoring power to her. Stay in line, and me and Med wont step back in.

His eyes widened. Med? Medwin Thuldon? So then you must be Dooley Dorfman!

At my nod, he paled slightly. Without saying another word, he turned and walked over to Basswood. Wheres the line, maam?
Looking slightly confused at the sudden calm in him, she pointed to the shelf-lined wall behind her. Without another word, he walked over and sat down.

Meanwhile, Med had woken three more. Repeating my orders, I sent each one to the professor, who directed each one to their places in line. By the time we finished, the Pokemon had all gotten over their wariness and helped us wake the rest of the sleepers. When the last one was slapped awake, me and Med folded our arms and stood in the middle of the room, the starters huddled around our feet. I looked the students over.
Okay, rule numero uno: Quiet. Number two: Order. And three: Obey. Me n Med will choose our starters last. I nodded to Basswood. One at a time, and slowly. Youve already spooked them enough.

One by one, starting with Greeny, the kids crept up and selected their starters. A couple got a little rowdy waiting for their turn, but Med cleared his throat and scowled at em, and they shut up. Each student chose their Pokemon, then walked silently over to Professor Basswood, who gave them a red-and-black Pokedex and a handful of red and white spheres called pokeballs used for capturing Pokemon, along with a special belt for holding them. One of the balls that she handed to each grad had a mark on it, indicating that it had already been used. Once a pokeball is used, the Poke that its used on will be the only creature it can contain. The marked ones were for the starters, and a couple students immediately recalled their Pokemon with flashes of red light. Most of the kids named their Pokemon, anything from the loony to the intelligent. When all but two were gone, Teach turned to us. She started to say something, but stopped when we burst out laughing. Meds booming laugh and my higher-pitched, breathless hysteria came bubbling out. Finally, we caught our breath.

Ho, man, Med, gimme a hand, that was the best weve ever done! Didja see the look on his face when he found out who we were? Golly Gump and the green bananas, that was sweet!

Hoo, boy, was it ever. And the look on their faces when you were layin down the law? It was as sweet as ice cream!

Dont forget the two rowdies near the end! I almost die every time I remember the way their faces went white, wowwee, that was fun! We oughta do that again someday! Wheeoow!

While we were congratulating ourselves, the two women had been getting this confused look on their faces. Finally, when we were settling down, Teach finally spoke, with a look of disbelief on her face.

May 8th, 2005, 1:12 PM
You mean to tell me that that was all faked?!

Yes, maam, I replied, still chuckling. And it was as sweet as sugar.


Yep. Every last bit. What, you didnt really believe that were really like that, didja?

She nodded, still looking as puzzled as a Slowpoke at a rocket scientists meeting.

Dont worry, we did things that way just to scare the daylights outta the other grads. That was the only way ta get them to quiet down, ysee. Anyways, I continued, glancing at my watch. Youve got to give us our Pokemon, and- Oh, what?

Glancing down, I saw one of the two remaining Pokemon tugging on my jeans. It resembled a small green gecko, with large, intimidating eyes and sucker-tipped fingers. It also had a tail as large as its body, which could be used for effective Pound attacks. Right then it looked troubled. Looking at Med, I saw that he was crouched down, trying to reassure a nervous-looking plant creature. It resembled a small green-and-blue dinosaur with a bulb on its back. Med looked up at me.

I cant get this little guy ta tell me anything, but hes definitely worried.

I looked back down at the Treecko. Crouching down, I looked him in the eye. What is it?

<We saw somebody sneaking around behind those bottles,> he said quietly.

<Over there.>

He pointed at one of the bottle-lined shelves that filled the room. I stood slowly up, drawing my knife. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Med backing the women into a corner and getting in front of them, his huge hands spasming. I set my feet, knife in the right hand, ready for anything.
Good thing I was, too.

Five muscular oafs and a thin, weaselly man shot out from behind the shelves, waving their knives in a complex pattern. I heard a gasp from the professor, but I was busy looking these guys over. They werent your typical gangsters, that was certain. For one thing, they didnt have any bloody scythes or falling angels tattooed on them. In fact, I couldnt see any markings at all on them, which aroused every suspicion I had.

They looked unhappy with our presence. The thin, weasel-man looked me and Med over, then turned his head and spoke in a strange language to his buddies. Turning back to me, he waved his knife at the women.

You get out of ze way, and maybe we no cut you up, see?

I rolled my eyes. You drop you knives and surrender to ze police, and maybe we no turn you into oatmeal, see?

He scowled and opened his mouth, but stopped when one of the big guys behind him spoke up in that weird, jabbering language. Slowly, I switched my knife around so that the blade was in my right hand, tip on the center of my palm. I then placed the handle in my left hand, rubbing the back of the blade with my thumb. I smiled inwardly, my facial expression keeping its bored look on. The weasel-man looked back at me.

We no want to keel you, siszbrak. You two stays out our way, see? Zen we no have to keel you, see?

I looked him in the eyes. Why are you here, little man? Tell me, and I may leave.

The weasel-man licked his lips, his bright green eyes darting around in his
head. Ze doctair has killed somebodys, zen run. We here to take her back to own country for trial.

Professor Basswood jumped away from Med, hands outstretched to me.

No, I didnt, please believe me! Dont leave me

Shut up, maam. Med laid a hand on her shoulder. Chavs got it under control.

I stared at Basswood, her frightened eyes imploring me. I allowed a nasty grin to cross my face, and she wilted. I have decided. And its in favor of the accused party.

Weasel-man beamed, obviously misinterpreting accused party. You choose right, leetle one. Now, he continued, stepping toward the Professor. You weel come wiz us, and

He stopped when my knife entered his throat. Blood pouring from the wound, he gurgled once, then dropped. And chaos corrupted the room with her loud and wild ways.

Two of the big guys shot toward me, knives in hand. I dove toward the dead man, rolling when my shoulder hit the floor. Grabbing my knife from the still-twitching body, I wiped the blood off on his collar. I snuck a look at Med, who was busy throwing one of his attackers at another. I spun, brought my knife up, then rolled to my left. That threw them off for a vital half-second, allowing me to trip one with my outstretched foot. I jumped up, right into the punch the other had thrown. Flying back, I rammed the wall, watching the room spin around me. Gritting my teeth, I shook my head and stood up-

-To see the man who had punched me grab a bottle from its lonesome perch on a shelf and scoot out the door. I shoved my knife into its holster and, yelling at Med to finish up, I ran after him. I felt something drop on my backpack, then I was out the door.
I ran after the big fellow, following the red dot that was his hair. He ducked into a crowded plaza, slowing me. I rammed through, then stopped. Which of these do I choose? There were three alleys and a busy street to choose from. I stood there for a second, perplexed. Suddenly, I felt something on my cap.

<Hes gone down the alley to the right. >

It was the Treecko. Spinning, I ran as fast as my legs would go, shooting between two old ladies and ducking past some guys bearing, FOOD! I flipped a buck onto the tray and grabbed one of the pastries, stuffing most of it in my mouth. Chewing, I ran down the alley, feeling better about the world. A fight, some food, and I hadnt had to listen to the women for too long, and the sun was shining. What a beautiful day it was. Slowing down at an intersection, I looked around carefully. I then held the last piece of pastry to the creature on my head.

Well, pal, looks like we lost him. I shrugged. Oh, well. Guess thats the way it goes.

<Look out! >

I spun around, to see that red hair over the barrel of a gun. I decided to be cruel. I dropped to my haunches, drawing my knife and flicking it at him. Two bullets shot over my head, one high and the other close enough to have clipped the Treecko if he was still up there. I saw a green blur flash toward the guy, then I watched him fold over, my knife having come out of his leg and gone into his stomach. He fell to the ground, that green bottle rolling out of his hand. The Treecko somersaulted backwards through the air, then landed on his toes. Grinning, I trotted to where the bottle was still traveling and stopped it with my foot. Stooping, I tossed it up in the air and grabbed it. Stuffing it into a side pocket on my backpack, I nodded at the little lizard.

Nice Quick Attack, Treeck.

With the Treecko beaming, I walked over to the dying man. Crouching down, I looked him in the eye. He tried to smile. He opened his mouth, painfully, gasping his words out almost incomprehensibly.

Look likeyougot meboy. He coughed, then brought his gaze back to my face, his eyes starting to swim.

Anything you want me ta do, pal?


I gotcha. Ill make sure of it.

Aww, now aint this cute. Hey guys! The Dwarfs playin patsy with some dork!

The dying man looked at me. Youdoonemore thingfor Darron. Youkillbouftakthere.

I nodded. Standing up, I turned to my right. Three young men were blocking the alley, one large, hulking brute backed by the smaller brutes. All three were leering at me. I smiled, showing all my teeth.
Well, boys, looks like you finally got me without the babysitter. Theyd contemptuously termed Med as my babysitter after hed thrown a few of them around when Id been busy pulverizing the rest.

Yeah, we did, didnt we? The big fellow shook his head, while the other two laughed. His brown eyes showed a lust for cruelty, blood, and power. Each one of them wore a black shirt with a bloody scythe emblazoned on it, marking them as members of the Blood Reapers. I grinned, then stooped down and pulled my knife from the dead man. Straightening up, I felt Treecko bound up my back and settle himself on my cap again. He didnt go unnoticed.

The little guy to Big Brutes left, known as Toady, snickered. Look, Boss, Dwarfs gotta baby Pogey! What about we kill the freak and liberate the poor thing?

Biggy nodded. Yeah, I think we will. How about it, nerd, he said, looking me in the eye. Sound good to you?

I nodded. Uh-huh, thats the deal. You kill me, you get the Treecko.

<Yeah, you oreeckt fools! > He leaped from my head down to the ground and set himself. He pointed at the brute opposite Toady. He hadnt said a word, just glared daggers at me from under the scar Id given him two months ago. I think his name was Grunge. <You and me, teero, lets go. >

Laughing, I threw my knife for the third time that day. It buried itself in Toadys throat, starting a flood of blood, which the now-terrified young man tried to hinder with his hands. The other two stared in shock. This was the first gangster Id killed since coming here, and they didnt like it at all.

Grunge put his fingers in his mouth and whistled shrilly. I heard running footsteps behind me. Leaping forward, I rolled to where Toadys body lay twitching on the concrete. Grabbing my knife, without stopping or slowing, I shot myself at Big Boss Born. He threw an arm up, trying to block me, but I grabbed it and flung myself over it. I drew my knife hand back, then buried it to the iron hilt in his chest. He went down gurgling, still trying to grab me. I brought my hands up, spinning toward where Grunge was. Or at least, where I would have sworn he was.

The Treecko had shot into his stomach the instant Id thrown my knife. I could see him sitting painfully up, clutching his stomach. When he got all the way up, the little green dude shot out from behind him and clobbered him with a Pound attack. I shook my head. That little guy wasnt bad at all.

Suddenly remembering the footsteps, I spun around.

Med was standing there, a somber look on his face. Around his feet were scattered several bodies, two of which looked squashed. He indicated the two Id knifed.

Was that necessary?

I nodded and sheathed my knife. I earned a little extra money by hiring myself out as protection for a shopkeeper. Since Im leaving, I indicated the bodies. I couldnt let their hatred of me be vented on my employer. Speaking of which, Ive got to see him soon. Not to mention giving the Professor her bottle back.

Med nodded thoughtfully. As a matter of fact, I hired myself out as a bodyguard, too. He gave a shrug, then frowned and dug his hand into his pocket. Oh, before I forget, Miz Basswood said to tell you to forget about taking the bottle back to her, youre supposed to drop by Erafraw and give it to Professor Cottonwood in Norden. We can register for the Erafraw league while were there, she said.

I grinned, then sobered up. Ive gotta go there anyway. I waved my hand toward the man Id chased. I promised to tell his father that he was dead. I scowled. But I doubt Im gonna join any fool kid's league.
Med nodded his head. Me, niether. Im gonna start a fight, first thing. Since Ive got Bulb on my side, Im gonna have some fun. Oh, here, he said, taking his hand out of his pocket. The Professor said to give you these.

He held six pokeballs in his hand, on of them marked with a leaf-on-a-twig. I figured that that was the Treeckos pokeball. Whoops, before I forget. I turned to the Treecko, who was sitting on a purple dumpster. Whats your name, kid?

He shrugged. <Dont have one. >

What name would you prefer?

<Im not picky, just no feminine names. >

Gotcha. I looked around the alley. I figure maybe Hero would work.

He shrugged again. <It works, > He agreed.

Okay then, Med cut in. Hero it is. And dont forget this, Dool.
He held out the flat, rectangular pokedex. I grabbed it and stuffed it in my left jean pocket. Cmon, guys, I gotta inform my boss of my leave-taking.

With Hero on my shoulder and Med at my back, I strode off, feeling hungry as heck. Eleven o clock. Time for a pre-lunch break.

Notes: This chapter and the second are the only ones based outside of the Pokenations (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Orre, Acitcratna, Erafraw, Niatnuom, Tsidas). And for those who are unsure, Medwin Thuldon got Bulb the Bulbasaur.

June 8th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Almost exactly one month. Decided to shtick next chap up here rather than make another thread. SB

Chapter 2: Food and things

Rated PG-13 for blood

Friday, May 23, 2952

11:17 A.M.

I stared out at the bright blue sea, enjoying the feel of the sun on my back. Med was off telling his employer that he was leaving, and Hero was napping on the rail next to me. I leaned my elbows on the six-inch wide wooden beams, letting the gentle sea breeze cool me off. My backpack was leaning against the support post, my sweatshirt on top of it; my cap was sideways on my head. Sticking my nose up, I could smell the scent of Food. Seafood, non-seafood, catfood, gullfood. I dropped my nose hastily, my mind returning to Food a mere three seconds later. When your sole meal of the day had been a roll of some kind, and youd been as busy as I had, you got pretty obsessed with the thought of Food with a capital F.

Suddenly, I caught a whiff of something delicious. That is a scent that I havent smelt in a long, long time. Spinning around, my eyes widened as I saw a man pushing a cart along. And the cart was full of CORN DOGS! I ran over, mentally pained that I had to keep at least two thousand dollars for the outfitters, and that only left me fifty bucks. Ugh, not enough to buy this guy out. Oh, well, at least Ill get enough to keep me amused for a while.

Exactly sixty-five seconds later, I walked back to my spot at the rail, a paper bag full of corn dogs and HOT NACHOS WITH CHEESE! I love seaside New York. I plopped the bag on the ground and pulled out a tray of nachos. Leaning against the rail, I started gnawing on a chip loaded with cheese, trying to decide whether or not Med would want any.

<WHAT is THAT?! >

I looked to my left. Hero was backed up against the support post where it popped up through the rest of the rail, eyeing the slice of heaven in my hand like it had been accused of being a vampire. I grinned.

"This, my little green friend, is the food of angels. Corn chips and melted cheese, and as an appetizer," I continued, pulling a corn dog out of the bag and hopping up on the rail. "Cornmeal wrapped around a hot dog. Or, informally, Nachos with cheese and corn dogs."

He eyed the wonderful items like an atheist eyeing the bible. <So, you actually EAT those things? >

I looked at him, belatedly remembering that he hadnt been fed since that piece of bakery earlier. "Yeah, you wanna try a piece?"

He looked dubiously at me. <The corn dog thingy, maybe. But no cheese stuff, its bad for my stomach. >

I grinned, pleased at gaining a chance to share heaven with someone. "Hold on a sec," I said, dropping off the rail. Reaching into the bag, I withdrew one of those plastic knives that vendors like giving to people. Sawing a piece off of the corn dog, I handed it to Hero. "Try this before you go for the whole thing."

Taking a bite, his green snout moving uncertainly, he chewed. And chewed. And chewed. Impossibly, his face turned greener. Shooting me a look of agony, he spun and gave the water scavengers something to eat off the side of the rail and into the bay water directly below us. I looked away, swallowing the rest of the corn dog and the chips. No sense letting all this food go to waste.

Hero finished and turned back to me, wiping his mouth with the back of his paw. He still looked kinda queasy. <Im surprised humans are still alive after eating junk like that. >

I shrugged, but was saved from replying by Meds materialization on my right. "Junk like what?"

Hero pointed at the bag. <Corn dogs and cheese. >

Med looked at me, one eyebrow raised. "Didnt you pay any attention at all to Miss Grimmers class on Pokemon care?"

I frowned. "No, not really. She was always talking about how to get them to have offspring and stuff, so I just zoned out during her class."

Med chuckled. "Pokemon can only eat specialized food. Normal human food is bad for them."

I groaned while Hero laughed. "Oh, whee."

<You really got shown up, didnt you, Boss? >

"Its not that, its just that its one more thing Im gonna hafta get at the outfitters. Speakin of which," I said, glancing at my watch. "We might as well head out now. I gotta tell my boss Im leavin, and stop off at the outfitters, then catch the boat. And all in Manhattan."

Med reached into the bag and drew out a corn dog. Biting off half of it, he leaned against the rail. "Youre not taking the regular ferry, are ya?"

I scowled, setting the bag on the ground and crossing my arms. "Lemme put it this way. If you had a choice between getting a nice, quiet ride down to wherever you need and taking a loud, obnoxious, public ferry, to certain locations far from wherever you wanted to be, would you take the ferry?"

He laughed. "I wouldnt, and Im not."

I grinned. "Youre coming with me, right?"

He nodded, biting off the last of the corn dog and throwing the stick back into the bag. "Yup, if ya dont mind."

I shrugged. "Were leaving this evening, to miss the crowds."

"All right. What were you gonna do down there?"

I shrugged. "Deliver the bottle and the message, then look for some work. Theres probably somebody looking for a bodyguard down there."

He nodded. "Im gonna find the nearest league thats halfway decent and sign up. Then Im gonna wander around beating up the Gyms down there."

I bit my lip thoughtfully. "The toughest one is supposed to be the Tsidas League. I heard that the last Gym is a free-for-all, with both trainers and Pokemon having to battle."

He grinned. "There, thats where Ill be going."

I grinned back. "Well, then I guess Ill look for your name in the papers a year from now. In the meantime," I continued, straightening up from my lounging position, "We better get going."

He stooped down, revealing a green mass on his head. He grabbed the bag and straightened back up, a smirk on his face. "Ready when you are, Boss."

I groaned. "Two things, okay? One, dont call me Boss. Two, whats that thing on your head?"

Med threw his head back and laughed, startling several people who were wandering by. "Youre the boss, hence the name. As for the thing, as you call it," he reached a hand up and caressed the green thing. "Bulb, why dont you say hello to Chavez Phantasm?"

Two red eyes poked themselves up from the snarled mass that Med called his hair. They took one look at me, then buried themselves back into his hair. Med shrugged.

"Hes a little shy. I let him out for fresh air, but he insisted on hanging out up there."

I nodded. "Works for me. Cmon, lets"

I stopped at a shout. Some idiot was running by, waving his arms toward the bay. Amused, I turned around, half expecting to see some moron who had jumped into the water for suicidal reasons. The number of people doing that had decreased drastically since they opened regular lines of communication and transportation with the Pokenations, but we still had a couple who decided that even winning the Leagues down there wasnt enough to make their lives worth anything. I figured this was one of them, and the screaming guy was a friend or something. I looked across the bay and felt my jaw drop. Beside me, Hero swore softly in his native tongue, while Med exhaled loudly. Suddenly, I wasnt amused anymore.

Across the water, near the high-tech hoverbridge that crossed the New York Bay, a small horror story was unfolding. A group of seven or so Wailmer, their broad blue backs pushing heavily through the water, were headed for us, their broad flippers flapping frantically. Terror permeated their every move. And for good reason.

Right behind them, almost caught up with the trailing whale, was a group of sharks. I could see the telltale white dorsal fin of the great white, the oddball snout of the hammerhead, and a few others. Wait, those things dont normally run in packs. Somethins fishy about this.

As I thought this, I saw something odd about the last Wailmer in line. It seemed to be a lighter blue than the other ones, and it looked like it was gonna die any second. Just as I finished thinking that it was gonna be food, it suddenly dove under the water and shot back out, flying through the air and landing just ahead of the lead Wailmer, speeding onwards. Oh, it used its buoyancy. It filled its lungs with air, then shot under and used the pressure to shoot up! Impressive. But even going at max speed, the whales were no match for the sleek, swift figures that were the sharks. Even as the pale Wailmer began drifting back into the center of the school, a hammerhead darted forward, grabbing the last one in line. The blue, grinning creature squealed and struggled, losing some blood from the cut on its rear.

Then it all went straight to perdition.

Anybody who knows anything about sharks knows that they react rather violently to blood. Worse, theyll start gathering from miles around, following the scent of blood. The ensuing brawl that inevitably results has been termed a feeding frenzy. We witnessed this first-hand, but this one was made more terrible by the addition of one of the deadliest predators in the ocean, rivaled only by the lightning-fast Kabutops and the deadly stingers of the Tentacruel. There are more bloodthirsty creatures in the sea, and there are bigger creatures, but they just dont have the terror attached to their names like these things.

The Sharpedo had come.

Almost all mouth and fin, the blue-and-orange sharks have no tails, their heads being almost the only part of their bodies. Instead, they use their rears for propulsion; drawing in water through their mouths, they force it out the back of their bodies to shoot along at up to seventy-five miles per hour. And that wasnt the worst part. Their teeth and jaws are strong enough to tear apart steel; and like most sharks, they can regrow their teeth. And that isnt the worst part.

They usually travel in groups.

Theyre normally small groups, thankfully, but its still bad to meet just one of the stupid things. And there were at least thirteen in this group, judging by the number of fins. I shook my head. No way those Wailmer are gonna survive. And we get front-row seats. My hands curled into fists. There had to be something we could do. But we dont know what that something is, so nuts.

I could see the Sharpedo hit the frenzy, tearing huge chunks of flesh from both predator and prey. About half the group spun around to reenter the melee, their battle cries echoing across the mile of water separating us from the grim scene of natural selection.

The surviving group of Wailmer was about a hundred yards from us, swimming frantically, as if we could somehow help them. We cant. But we sure can try. I opened my mouth, but Bulb beat me to it.

<Why cant we do something? Are you just gonna let them catch them? >

I turned, to see my surprised expression mirrored on Meds face. Bulb jumped down from his original perch in Meds hair, then spun to face us, the need for action temporarily overcoming his shyness.

<Well? >

I looked at Med. A slow smile spread across his face, as he shook his head.

"No, buddy, I think were gonna beat the odds."

I grinned. "Might as well build good habits while we can."

Med nodded, then turned and looked out to sea. The fleeing group had closed to fifty yards of us, two more getting dragged under. My mind raced, trying to think of a brilliant solution that would simultaneously eliminate the threat of the sharks and save the Wailmer. Well, if I only had a gun, maybe a 13-A9, those are supposed to be nice to handle

Med suddenly ordered Hero and Bulb off the rail, motioning everybody back. Lacing his fingers together, he raised his arms, then smashed them down, cracking the two-inch-thick rail like cardboard. Grabbing the shards, he began tearing them apart, creating several long, sharp WEAPONS! I grinned and grabbed a couple, passing more to the people on either side of us. Some took the makeshift spears and hefted them above their heads, ready to throw. Others just squirmed and passed them on.

"Youre a genius, bud."

Med smirked. "I finally outran your brain, Boss."

I groaned mock-seriously. "Dont call me Boss! And thats just cause I let you."

He laughed and turned back toward the bay. Looking over the twenty yards of water separating the Wailmer and the land, he motioned at Bulb.

"Hey, Bulb, use your Leech Seed about ten yards out, NOW!"

The little plantasaur spun around, obviously glad to be doing something. His bulb began glowing, then, with a strange spitting sound, two seeds shot out of it and plummeted into the water. As the Wailmer reached the dock we were standing on, a green glow lit the surface of the water. The sharks swept up to within forty feet, their jaws working frantically, the bloodlust in their eyes.

And it all went to perdition AGAIN!

When using Leech Seed, the Pokemon fires a number of seeds at its opponent. The seeds burrow into the hosts skin, then begin sapping the energy of their host, not to mention growing ivy-like tendrils that hinder movement. If the Pokemon that fired the seeds touches the tendrils, it can absorb the energy, making Leech Seed one of the more favored moves for healing. It could be countered with fire and ice, but that was pretty much it, unless they were ripped out of the host using brute strength. That usually resulted in taking a good portion of flesh with it, so the most common way of getting rid of them was to recall the host Pokemon. Since the pokeballs only recall the Pokemon, the vines and the seeds are left behind. But, we didnt have that option here.

The seeds had landed in the sand. Period. To be more precise, they were sapping the energy of the earth. And it agreed with them.

As the sharks hit forty feet, we launched our splinters of wood, nicking one and killing two, one of them a Sharpedo. As another group of sharks began devouring the ones wed hit, the rest came on.

The plants got em.

Shooting out of the water like sinuous fingers reaching for the sky, the vines erupted from the bay water, grabbing sharks and Sharpedo alike. In answer to their angry calls, another group shot in and began tearing at the vines. Even with the Sharpedos unlimited shredding potential, the plant gained on them. The plants tendrils wrapped themselves around its attackers and carried them up. Soon, the entire frenzy of sharks, attracted by the blood of their three bleeding companions, were grabbed and carried up, the plant absorbing their energy. The entire school of them soon went limp, their energy going to feed the monster plant. Houston, we have a Plantzilla situation. We need a nuke.

It wouldnt have been so bad if it had just eaten the sharks and been satisfied. But the predatory fish obviously didnt satisfy it, cause it grabbed one of the Wailmer and drew it into its coils. The three remaining Wailmer of the pod cried out in terror.

"Bulb! Use Vine Whip, try to absorb the energy!"

The dumb plant-animal balked at Meds order, his shyness catching up with him. I balled my hands in frustration, thinking that there had to be SOMETHING I could do. The plant had absorbed more energy than anything had a right to, and was still absorbing. Soon, its tendrils would- thats it! Two plans hit my head simultaneously. I swiveled to where Hero was gaping, his eyes bulging in his head.

"Hero, use your Absorb attack on the plant! We might be able to slow it down!"

<Okay, Boss. >

He leaped down onto the nearest Wailmer, which happened to be the pale one. It groaned at him, then he leaned over and said something. The big blue beach ball trumpeted, then shot toward the nearest tendril, five feet away. Hero crouched, then sprang at the vine, his hands giving off a greenish glow. Grabbing the plant, he held on for a second, then screamed!

The pale Wailmer, in a feat of maneuvering that I still cant rebuild in my head, shot between several quivering vines and halted directly under Hero. The little gecko dropped onto its back, then the whale raced through the vines again to the concrete sides of the boardwalk. Stopping directly below us, it inhaled, then spouted a stream of water from its breathing hole. Hero shot up, right into my arms. I cradled his small form, trying to see what was wrong; reproaching myself for getting him killed. The thing probably tried to absorb his Absorb, causing a clash But I stopped in shock when his body began glowing with a white light!

His small, light green form grew, shooting up and out. He stopped glowing, to reveal a dark green figure. Its arms had a feathery look, and it had sharper claws at the end of its hands. That was all I saw before he began glowing a second time!

I finally realized what had happened. His Absorb worked, but drew more energy in than he could take, triggering the evolution!

From what I remembered from Miss Grizzers Biology class, a Pokemon built up energy throughout its entire life, and when it got enough energy, its Evolutionary Complex was triggered. The Complex drained away all the built-up energy to fuel the growth. Then, the next form replenished the energy, either turning it into more power, as single-evolution Pokemon like Rapidash did, or building into the next evolution, like Pidgeotto.

Anyway, when Hero touched the plant, it pumped a ton of energy into his small body, the equivalent of about a years worth of hard, day-by-day training. Naturally, he evolved. Twice, to be exact.

June 8th, 2005, 11:20 AM
The large form in front of me was a medium green color, with a leafy tail and three sharp claws instead of fingers. It had a head with a blunt snout, two ridges on either side, and, when he opened his eyes, I saw that they were still the same yellow color as before, just more aged. Hero stood up, his large, sucker-tipped toes gripping hard to the pavement. I saw that he had six golden spheres running down his back, three to a side. He turned slightly to look at me and grinned.

<Whats wrong, Boss? >

I groaned. "Dont you ever do that again!"

<What? Do what? >

"Play dead, and call me Boss!"

<Okay, Boss. >

I threw my hands up, then turned to Med to make a wisecrack. But the plant reminded me that it was still there, and HUNGRY! I could sympathize, but not when it did what it did.

It grabbed a young woman who was watching. I recognized her from the lab as one of the grads. Shed received the Totodile, a small blue crocodile; which, at the moment, was jabbering at the plant angrily.

I freaked. Totally. Im sorry to say that I lost control.

Rule number one to live to a ripe old age: Never, EVER grab an innocent bystander, especially a pretty female, with intentions of eating her, on my watch. Period. You do, I take you apart and broil each piece separately.

I dove off the wall, grabbing the vines like I used to do back home, where I was kinda famous for my climbing skills. I shot up the plant, my knife having conjured itself into my hand. I hacked at the stupid thing, heading for the girl, who was pretty wet from a Water Gun attack that her Totodile had fired, trying to help. Before I knew it, I was next to her wilting body. I grabbed the vines that held her, bringing my nine-inch blade back. I slashed down, venting my fury on the vines, cutting them so hard that its relatives would shudder to their roots. Chop and hack; there went most of the bloody things. I chopped the last vine to a half-dozen pieces, releasing the captive. Sheathing my knife, I grabbed her. I hopped the nearest vine and swung to the dock, feeling ever so much better, although I also felt like Tarzan and Jane

Plopping the girl next to her Totodile, I stomped back to where Med and Hero were standing. Everybody was staring at me and Hero for some stupid reason. I pointed at the plant.

"Were gonna dig it up."

Again, everybody stared at me for some stupid reason, Med and Hero especially.

<Uh, Boss, thats crazy. >

"And your point is?"

Med stared. "Uh, that its really crazy?"

I scowled. Another wail erupted from the other side of the dock. Another of the stupid grads had used her Chikoritas Razor Leaf to try and cut the plant up. Apparently, the thing didnt like that too much, cause it sent three grasping vines out, grabbing the grass-type. Immediately, the little pale-green quadruped began glowing, its evolution triggered by the energy it absorbed. I saw the little thing grow, dim, and then glow again. A large, light-green creature, with four trunklike legs and petals around its throat, emerged from the final light. The plant dropped the Meganium, then began fumbling for the girl, who had decided that leaving now would be good. She recalled her newly evolved Pokemon and ran.

Med roared. I spun and saw that Bulb had stuck his vines in among the plant to try and rescue a blue turtle. Bulbs vines had brushed the plant, and he, too, began glowing right after he chucked the Squirtle at its trainer.

Suddenly, while the light around Bulb faded for the second and last time, revealing a large blue-green dinosaur with a giant flower on its back, an idea hit me. I looked around the crowd, then turned to Med.

"Can you see any of the other grads? Specifically, the ones who got fire starters?"

He frowned, then straightened up to his full height. He glanced around the crowd, then nodded.

"Yeah, Greenys here."

"Call him over."

Meds bellow nearly flattened some of the bystanders, but I was too busy assimilating data to care. When the vines are out of it, Im gonna hafta move fast. Hero should be able to keep them from annoying me too badly, but itll still be rough.

Greeny appeared in front of me, his Charmander trotting along behind him. He eyed the plant uneasily.

"Tell me you dont want Blaze to try and burn all that."

I chuckled grimly. "Not yet. Hold on a sec."

I turned to Hero, who was eyeing me uneasily. <What? >

"I want you to do something that Id consider stupid any other day. I want you to let Blaze cook you."

Med, Hero, Greeny and his Charmander, and everybody who had heard me stared.

<Youre not serious?! >

"I am, and we dont have time to argue. Will you stand still, or do I need to kill that," I pointed at the plant, which was groping for the Wailmer. "The hard way?"

<Me getting cooked is gonna kill that? >

"Yeah. You in or out?"

Hero sighed. <Youre the boss. >

I turned to Greeny. "When I wave my hand like this," I chopped my hand down. "You stop your attacks, got it?"

He nodded. I looked around. "Anybody else have fire-types?"

"Weve got some."

I spun. Finally.

The blue-and-green outfit of the New York Special Ops team was a welcome sight. The three men and two women pulled their pokeballs from their belts, releasing several creatures. Two of the new Pokemon resembled small red foxes with six tails, another was a red-and-white puppy, and the last two were their adult forms. One was a huge, red-and-white dog with an impressive mane and some nasty-looking fangs. The other was a large fox, with nine tails and a light-orange coloring. All were fire-types, which was a comfort.

"Okay, everybody, heres whats gonna happen. One, Blaze there," I pointed to the small lizard next to Greeny. "Will use his Ember attack on Hero," I waved at the Sceptile next to me. "Who will take the attack until I signal stop. When I do, Hero will use his Overgrowth technique," Several people, including Med, nodded their sudden comprehension of the impeccably brilliant plan. "To separate the vines long enough for me to go down and dig the seeds up. Ill release them in the water, to try and drown em. When I go down, I want all fire-types to torch the stupid thing. Burn every inch that you get, dont leave anything. Understood?"

They nodded, even Hero catching the intelligence of such a superior plan.

Now, before I go on, some explanation may be necessary. The entire plan hinged on Overgrowth, and you may not understand what that is. A rare technique, its effect is this: When the Pokemon that has that inherent ability is injured, the damage is logged in a special part of the brain. When enough damage has been done, the Pokemons eyes will start glowing, signaling that the Overgrowth ability is triggered. When the trainer orders it to use Overgrowth, it unleashes the power of the grass-type in some form of attack. With the younger stages, like Treecko, it will merely give it extra power or health. With older forms, like Grovyle, it may come as a form of Solarbeam or something like that. But with the most powerful forms, like Sceptile, it manifests itself as the ability to command the vegetation around the user. Yeah, very dangerous.

The plant had been inching closer to the Wailmer. I suddenly got another brilliant idea and spun.

"You guys want to catch a Wailmer, do it now. Hold on a sec, though." I turned to Hero. "Ask them if we can catch them to keep them from getting eaten."

He nodded and leaned over the rail, roaring something at them.

More explanation is necessary, I suppose. The reason I couldnt talk to the whales was simple. They spoke a different language.

Wild Pokemon have the same language that domesticated pogeys do, but their way of communicating is subtly different. It has something to do with their brainwaves and the movements of their bodies. Anyway, when a Pokemon is put into a pokeball for the first time, the reaction of their brains to the man-made whatever causes some links in their brains communicating area to shift, and THAT shifts their communicating abilities to link with that of a humans. Therefore, the only ones who can translate wild-speech are domesticated pogeys and hermits who spend their entire lives trying to speak with the critturs around them. Now stop thinking of all these annoying questions and let me finish.

Hero turned back to me. <They are okay with that, but they want you to pick their trainers. >

I frowned. "They named me specifically?"

<No, they just want the leader to pick the trainers. I asked who the leader was, to make sure. The one giving the orders. >

I nodded, then looked around. A coupla grads pushed forward, volunteering to take a Wailmer. I made my choice.

"Greeny, Med, and the Squirtle trainer."

The girl squealed with delight, then plucked an empty pokeball from her belt and began running toward the water.


At my bellow, she stopped so fast that she overbalanced and fell on her hands. She looked back at me, confused.

"Each of you hand one pokeball to me."

Greeny and the girl handed theirs over with little gusto, while Med harped about how just because he was a friend didnt mean he should get one of the whales. I ignored him and, grabbing a pokeball from his belt, walked over to the edge of the boardwalk. I leaned over the busted rail, watching the vines creep toward the whales, only two yards apart. The Wailmer looked back up, full of confidence and hope.

I was the source of that confidence.

It sobered me. Holding each red-and-white sphere out, I dropped them on the whales, causing each of them to disappear in flashes of red light. The pokeballs levitated themselves back up to my hands, dropping one by one into my palms. I closed my fingers around them, feeling their metallic grittiness beneath my nails. I turned around and silently gave each of the waiting trainers their pokeballs back. Taking my shoes off, I stuffed them in my backpack, along with my cap. I handed Med my backpack and sweatshirt, then turned to Greeny. I nodded.

"Okay, lets do this."

Greeny shouted to Blaze. The little orange lizard shot a hail of embers at Hero, while I raised my right hand straight above my head. Hero took the attack, just standing there and letting the fire envelope him. I sobered further when I realized that, like the whales, he trusted me to stop the rain of fire before he was charcoal. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of pain-wracked, glowing eyes. I chopped my hand down.


The embers shut off immediately. I drew my knife and dove over the side of the dock, screaming out the final order.

"Hero, Overgrowth!"

I caught a glimpse of him standing up and raising his hands over his head, roaring as he did so. Then I was below the level of the dock, plummeting into the water like a falling bullet. I fell eleven feet, hitting the water as knifelike as I could. The vines rose out of my way, seeming to fight each other to escape my wrath. I dove deep, grabbing the concrete side of the dock with one hand. I clenched my knife in between my teeth and began swimming to the bottom, six feet below me. I could feel my breath beginning to fail already. There! I could see the source of the vines in front of me, a thick stalk coming out of the ground. I swam forward, keeping my head as calm as I could. My air was failing swiftly. I hit the bottom and grabbed the stalk, digging my nine inches of steel into the ground.

Spots in front of my eyes.

I felt the slight grind of my knife hitting the seeds.


I dug them up, then the whole plant shot up. I could see it leave the water, too many yards above me.

I sighed, letting my breath out of my body.

Sleep. Yes. I need sleep

I closed my eyes, incredibly tired. Right before the blackness took me, I felt a bump.

Night fell on me, and I knew no more.


I opened my eyes, then closed them again, feeling like I needed to have a serious talk with whoever had given me my head.

"Wheres the road to Greenville? I have a stage to catch"

"Hes all right." That sounded like Med. "He just wanted to know where the road to Greenville was."

"Oh, then I cant help him there."

My eyes shot open. That sounds like Mister Grubbel!

Yep, there he stood, his gray eyes shifting around in his head, his long, bony hands nervously twining themselves around each other, the few remaining white curls of hair bobbing with the nervous motion of his head. Heck, even his dark gray shirt and blue jeans looked nervous.

"Hey, Mister Grubbel."

"Hush now, my boy, we cant have you fainting again."

I frowned at him, even that slight motion making me sick. I was lying on an old, unused dock; my head propped up on my sweatshirt. My brain tried to focus on the cityscape beyond me.


"Manhattan. Selina, my Wailmer, dove down and grabbed you, and Greeny loaned me his Wailmer. Since youd said that you were headed this way anyway, and figuring that fresh air would be better for you than getting squished by two hundred helping hands, I saved us the cost of a ferry ticket."


"I recalled him when they cooked the plant. Hes currently on lookout duty."

I nodded, my head starting to feel better. My stomach demanded a relief, though, so I turned and threw up about half the bay over the side of the dock. Aahhh, that feels better. I turned back to the two anxious-looking people on my left side.

"Howd ya find Mister Grubbel?"

"He found me. After Greenys Wailmer dropped us off, he hobbled up and said that he was your employer and that we should go with him to his store. I kinda didnt trust him, so I said wed wait til you woke up."


Grubbel broke in at this point. "Well, if youre feeling better, lets be off. Ive got much to do."

I nodded and heaved my aching body up off the concrete. "Yes, sir."

Hero materialized next to an old warehouse. <All clear. >

I nodded and pulled out his pokeball. "Take a break, buddy."

He disappeared into the pokeball. I replaced the ball on my belt, feeling relieved. When a Pokemon was in its pokeball, it was conscious of what was going on around it, but also entered a kind of stasis, half asleep, yet half awake. The containers also kept pain from the creature stored in it, and it healed minor scrapes. Hero would need medical attention soon, but just to keep him in shape for battling.

Grabbing my backpack and sweatshirt off the ground, we walked slowly down the road, Grubbel hobbling along on his rheumatic legs and me staggering along on my abused ones, while Med tried to keep his attention fixed on both of us, and worrying that we were moving too fast. The first empty warehouse we came to, I changed out of my soggy clothes. When I finished, we continued on. While we meandered down the deserted streets of Manhattan, I explained to Grubbel that I was leaving and wasnt gonna be able to help him anymore. He nodded, then smiled.

"Its all right, my boy, Im going to be leaving myself in a day or two."

I looked at him in surprise. "Where? If I can ask."

He chuckled. "Oh, its really no secret. Im moving over to London."

I grinned. "Family issues?"

He smiled. "Yes, actually. My mother is faring poorly, so she wanted me near her. Ill be taking my stores with me. Which reminds me, Ive got something for you."

I tried to get him to tell me what, but for once he actually didnt say a word. The entire walk over to his equipment shop was mostly me trying to get him to tell, and him just smiling and trying to walk faster.

Finally, we arrived at his store on Ketchum Avenue, a block away from where the inhabited area began. I could see the normal Grubbel Equipment sign above the door, written in blocky letters and colored a dark gray. The tan awning above the door and window gave a sense of age to the place, but when you looked through the window, you saw modern street equipment strewn around haphazardly. I could see a Mark II Estaban Anti-Insect Spraygun, and a giant Ergo-Mahan Pavement Cleaner, and other stuff like that. Real exciting. Which made me even more curious as to what hed want to give me that would be so interesting.

June 8th, 2005, 11:22 AM
We stepped through the doorway into his little shop, following him back to a little door behind the counter, in the rear of the room. My curiosity was really piqued by now, cause hed never invited me into this room, and Id never asked about it. Hed always have guests back there, and then when they came out, they always had one more weapon then they came in with. So you can bet I was curious, especially when he led us right to the door and palmed it. The door beeped, then shot up into the doorjamb. We stepped through-

-And entered a dream world.

I stared in awe, my jaw having somehow dislocated itself. Beside me, Med was gurgling.

Guns behind glass showcases, knives on display in the back, and Pokemon Training equipment filling the rest of the dark, softly lit room. Toto, we aint in Kansas no more.

Mister Grubbel walked to the center of the room, then turned to face us. He was obviously enjoying the shock and awe that was plastered over our faces. An MK-99 IdeoPhaser! A Colby&Colden Retracting Laser Defense System! Sweet daisies, theres a Gurrent 34-J Anti-Reflect Overdrill!

Mister Grubbel stood there smiling like a demon. When we began showing signs of movement, he waved his hands expansively. "Take what you want. Its your reward for working so hard to keep me and my shop safe for so little. All I ask is that you show restraint, but you do not have to."

I stared at him slack-jawed, then spotted something behind him. Fire from the sky, its a MolTech Saber-class Anti-Barrier Dual-Type Gattling Cannon!

More explanation is needed, I suppose. Ill start at the beginning. Two hundred years ago, waging war consisted mostly of making sure your shots hit their targets. Oh, sure, there were some countermeasures, but they were mostly for heat-seeking missiles and things like that. There was really no way to keep your soldiers safe from the enemys bullets and anti-infantry weapons like flamethrowers.

Then, about a hundred eighty-three years ago, Doctor Colben Schwartzing discovered that psychic-type Pokemon could, if trained properly, erect a mental barrier capable of deflecting bullets, missiles, and other weapons. Warfare was revolutionized. Soon, every company of three hundred men had at least one Psychic as a coordinator, defender, and all-around accessory.

Eighty-seven years ago, Catherine Jacobson went still further, splitting the barriers into two types. One, the Light Screen, guards against Psychic, Ice, Fire, and other energy-based attacks. The other, Reflect, defends the troopers from bullets and other physical attacks.

Of course, for every new development, someone creates a countermeasure. Against the original Barrier, all that was needed was to mass your attack against a certain point in the shield until it finally broke. When Doctor Jacobson split the barrier into two parts, it destroyed this approach, because the shield generator didnt have to guard against both types, which would distract it and use more power, tiring the psychic out quicker. The only way to get past the mental defenses was to use both energy-based and physical weapons.

So, for the first time in years, countries began developing energy weapons to complement their tanks and infantry rifles, because not everybody wanted to depend on Pokemon to do their fighting. So far, most of the weapons were mounted on a vehicle, because they had difficulties fitting the laser stuff in anything smaller than a cannon.

But whatever the official development rate of things like that is, civilian development always stays one step ahead. One of the offshoots of the underground inventors was sitting behind Mister Grubbel right now. Six feet long, seventy pounds when loaded, the Saber Cannon, as it was called, was roughly eight inches in diameter. One end had an unscrewable cap, which could be taken off for loading and recharging. The other end had an outer circle of 45. caliber barrels and an inner circle of four larger barrels. The outer row was for bullets, obviously, while the inner row was for the bright blue energy bolts. A handle and trigger was attached at roughly forty-five degrees to the barrel, the end of it pointing back toward the cap.

I grinned, finally recovering my voice. "Okay, sir, but only if Med here gets the same privilege."

He hesitated, then nodded. "Certainly."

I strode straight to the Saber Cannon. I tapped the glass case. "This unlocked?"

At his nod, I opened the case and motioned Med, who was still staring around the room, to come over. "Here, Med, take this."

He willingly obliged me, stepping over to the gun rack and taking the Saber down, hefting its weight like nothing. I grinned, then turned to Mister Grubbel, who had paled slightly at my freedom in giving his stuff away. I raised my hand reassuringly.

"Dont worry, Im not gonna take much. Number one," I continued, counting off on my fingers what I wanted, "How many of the Pokegear cards do you have here?"

He shrugged, his face returning to its normal color now that he knew I wasnt gonna take all the stuff he had. "All of them."

"Okay, I want the comm, map, and radio cards. Two, a quiet, small rifle. Three, I want to redo my pokedex. I need to have it password protected, with the option of switching my ID around. Four, could I have a Full Restore or something? Heros gonna need some medical attention."

He nodded soberly. Hobbling over to one of the shelves, he plucked a needle from a stack and looked at the side. Seemingly satisfied, he nodded and held it out. I strode to his side, the pain in my legs forgotten. Taking the syringe from his hand, I nodded my thanks and took Heros pokeball from my belt.

"Cmon out, buddy."

He appeared in a red flash, the scorched spots on his flesh looking awful. His breathing was a rattling sound. I took his arm gently and inserted the needle into his arm. He didnt react, the pain was so bad. Wincing in sympathy, I emptied the syringe into him. He immediately gave a sigh of relief, then closed his eyes. I saw the burnt skin begin healing rapidly, the healing visibly spreading from his arm through the rest of his body. He sighed after a minute, then opened his eyes again. They were definitely less pained than before. He smirked.

<Dont ever make me do that again, Boss. >

I chuckled, relieved. "Well, Ill sure as heck try. I personally dont like giving that much to my opponent without a fight, but you know it was necessary."

<Yep. > He twisted his neck around. <So, whats up? Are you figuring on starting a war? >

"Naw, Mister Grubbel, here," I waved my hand at the shopkeeper, "Has just given us permission to take what we want."

Hero chuckled. <Please dont tell me youre gonna take all this? >

"Nope, I was busy listing stuff when I remembered that you needed healing. Cmon, help me think stuff up."

"And here it is."

I spun around. Mister Grubbel grinned and held out three small discs. "Ill trade you for your pokedex, my boy."

I grinned back and dug into my pocket for my pokedex. Good thing they had already developed the waterproof dex, or Id have been in trouble from all the action Id seen this morning. I handed it to Mister Grubbel, who then plopped a backpack on the ground beside me.

"This has some items that might be useful. Ill get right to work on this." He held the pokedex to his eyes, then wandered off. I inserted the cards into my pokegear, watching the little lights that flashed on with each card. I then turned my attention to the backpack. I unzipped it, drawing the top apart.

Inside it there was some medical supplies, mostly Full Restores, some pokefood for Sceptiles, some extra pokeballs, and little things like that. I dumped the contents of my giant army surplus backpack into the smaller Trainers backpack. The cans of pokefood reminded me that it had been too long since my last meal. I turned to Med, who had attached the Saber to his shoulder with a strap, and was looking through a magazine titled Central Electronics.

"Hey, Med, wheres the bag of food?"

He looked up. "I gave it to Greeny and the Special Ops guys. I figured that youd rather let them have it dry then you get it when its wet."

I groaned. "Yeah, I guess youre right, but Im still hungry."

Mister Grubbel materialized on my right, holding out my pokedex and a SANDWICH! I grabbed both, thanking Mister Grubbel hurriedly. I stuffed my face with the sandwich, flipping my pokedex open. Everything looks A-OK. Yum, beef with mayo. I set the password for Nightmare City and entered my real name. No need to switch yet. I slammed the dex shut, suddenly and for no reason feeling a sense of urgency. I looked up, opening my mouth to alert Med to pack up. He was looking at me with a strange look on his face. He, too, held a sandwich in his hand, ham in rye.

"I think we better get going, Boss. I dont know why, but I think we better."

I nodded. "I gotcha."

Mister Grubbel appeared next to me, a cloth object in his hands. "Here, if youre going."

He unwrapped the cloth, revealing the weapon of my life. Two feet long, with a T-19 Berber scope, it was like nothing Id ever seen. A shoulder strap ran from the steel butt to near the muzzle, while the whole thing was painted matte black. It looked like a killing machine. I raised my eyebrows when I saw that there was no company logo.

Mister Grubbel placed his hands fingertip to fingertip. "That is a custom-designed rifle, made for a sect of assassins that never redeemed it. The bullets are 45. caliber, the same as the Saber. You should have no problem finding ammunition for it, and its not easily traced, so I think youll like it."

I smiled, still admiring the intricate mechanism of this work of art. "Oh, I already like it."

He smiled, but his eyes were watering. He held his hand out. "Good luck, my boy. I I wish I was a younger man. I know that youre going to get yourself in trouble."

I grinned and hefted my new backpack onto my shoulders. Slinging Betsy, as I decided to call the rifle, over one shoulder, I shoved the rest of the sandwich into my mouth and wiped my hands on my pants. Swallowing, I shook Mister Grubbels hand, smiling weakly. "See ya, sir. I wish you could come, too. And Im gonna do my best to find trouble, sir. Dont pay me, keep it in case I ever need it."

He grinned and slapped me on the back. "Get going, boy."

Without another word, I tipped my cap to him and walked out the door. Med strode along behind, his legs stomping the ground. Hero was already out the door, plodding down the street, seemingly looking for trouble. We left Mister Grubbel standing at the door, his hands squirming together.


An hour later, me, Hero n Med stood on an old pier, the only one still operating in Manhattan. Wed taken the long route, cause old Petcheneg wasnt gonna be there til three, and wed left Grubbels shop at two. Wed somehow spent an hour in there.

Petcheneg wasnt there yet, so we sat down on the dock, swinging our legs over the clear blue water, watching the fluffy white clouds moving through the bright blue sky. Suddenly, an incredibly loud sqaaank split the air, announcing the arrival of Captain Ricardo Petcheneg in his ship, the Rowdy Girl.

Fifty feet long and thirteen wide, the Girl was an outdated speedboat, shooting along on its hull and a PROPELLER, of all things. Most modern watercraft used hydrofoils and rockets. Anyway, on with the tale.

Standing in the small cabin at the rear of the boat, Ole Petcheneg stood on his one good leg and his wooden one, looking more proud of his boat than if it was one of those luxury ferries like the other grads were probably on right now. His gray beard and fiery green eyes gave him a piratical look, and his pipe just made him look rougher than a sander. His temper was pretty mean, too.

He spotted us and roared heartily, "Ho, you landlubber, whos that pretty boy next to ya? He looks like he should be working on a merchantman, with them broad shoulders of his!"

I grinned and shouted back, "Ho yourself, Cap! And hes with me! Same fare."

"Ahoy, then, get out of the way! Im not going to park this girl for a coupla landlubbers! Jump for it!"

I grinned and shot to my feet. "Okay, you two, get ready to jump!"

Med and Hero stood up without a word. Petcheneg eased the Girl up to within two yards of us, which drew the stares of some of the dock crewers, then roared, "Jump, you lubbers! Jump!"

We shot up into the air, crossing the space between us and the boat in one leap. We landed in a sprawl on the deck, then rolled to the side as Cap spun the boat around in a sharp starboard turn. He straightened out and kicked the throttle up, rolling us to the rear of the deck space we were lying on. We shot across the bay, under the bridge, and out into the Atlantic Ocean.

I grinned to Hero and Med. "Cmon, guys, I wanna introduce you to Cap."

They looked dubious, but got up and followed me, Med adjusting the Saber on his shoulder. We walked up to where Cap was standing humming to himself.

"Captain Petcheneg, Id like you to meet Medwin Thuldon and Hero."

He took his pipe from his mouth. "Pleasure as long as Im paid."

I grinned at him, then forked the money over. "Here you go, ya old pirate."

He grinned back and stuffed the money into his pocket. "A mans gotta make a living, boy."

"Yeah, I know."

He turned to Hero and Med, looking them over, then put his pipe back in his mouth. "Hm, the boy looks like hes interested in being a soldier, while that Sceptile there looks rather energetic."

I grimaced. "Long story, Cap."

"Good, Ive got time."

I then spent close to forty-five minutes telling Cap about my day. When I finished, he smiled grimly.

"I once tried that trick with the seeds. I had to finally call my Charizard to incinerate the surrounding area." He shook his head. "Be wary of plants, theyre the Devils handicraft. No offence," he said, looking at Hero. "But thats been my experience, and I live by my experiences."

Hero nodded. <To each his own. >

My stomach started growling. Cap looked at me with a twinkle in his eye. "Galleys down the stairs and to the right. Your bedrooms are further down the hall."

Thanking him hurriedly, I shot down the stairs, my hunger and weariness hitting me hard. I proceeded to raid his little kitchen, which included a mini refrigerator and stove, and devoured two giant ham sandwiches and a plateful of natchos. Med ate his fair share, too, but I didnt notice what. I looked at Hero.

"Well, Ive not forgotten ye, mi amigo."

He grinned as I grabbed my pack from the chair it was sitting on. Reaching in, I drew out a can of the pokefood and tossed it to Hero, who proceeded to open it with his claws. He devoured the can, then stretched.

<What time is it, Boss? >

I glanced at my watch. "Uh, four-thirty."

<Nuts. Im exhausted. >

"Me, too."

Med stretched his arms, tendons popping. "I could use some sleep, too."

"Well, lets wait a coupla hours."

I wont tell you how many games we played trying to stay awake, or how many times we wandered on deck to look at the sun, or how badly we annoyed Cap, who took it rather well. Finally, at about six, when the sun was just touching the horizon, he pulled his pipe from his mouth and said, with a twinkle in his eye, "Go to bed. Thats an order."

We grinned feebly, then staggered down the stairs, Med running into the door to his room before he got it open. He fell onto his cot and I saw him try to drag his legs in with him before I closed the door and opened mine, summoning all the strength I had to keep awake long enough to see Hero settled down on the floor. I then fell on the cot and sank into bliss


And yes, I'm gonna be working on the 00b3rness of the main characters. SB